Universal basic income to get another test drive in Los Angeles

One of the favorite utopian goals of the left-wing loons — from members of "The Squad" to Andrew Yang — is the guaranteed-to-fail fantasy of Universal Basic Income...or, as Dire Straits said in their 1985 hit, "Money for Nothing."  This welfare-on-steroids plan has already been tried and failed in Ontario, Canada, and Finland, but progressive hopes spring eternal in California, where many new ideas — business concepts, laws, social experiments, fads, drugs (legal or not), or whatever — are often tried.  It's a type of proving ground, if you will

Stockton, California has tried an experiment of its own, giving $500 a month to 125 randomly-selected families, and the progressive media like NPR and The Atlantic have declared it a success.  Now, the tried-and-true entitlement hub of the City of Angels -- with media prominence dwarfing that of the San Joaquin Valley agricultural hub, is jumping on board the bandwagon.  The Los Angeles city council approved a measure to grant selected families a monthly stipend that requires no work and will initially last for a year.

"At Tuesday’s meeting, the LA City Council unanimously voted to expand the city’s initial $6 million investment in the BIG:LEAP, which stands for Basic Income Guaranteed: Los Angeles Economic Assistance Pilot, to nearly $40 million, making it the largest such program in the nation," according to CBSLA.  Councilman Curren Price, who proposed the program, called it a "life-changing initiative."

"The program promises to benefit as many as 3,000 Angelenos with $1,000 in direct cash payments to families every month for a year," CBSLA continued. "The no-strings-attached payments will be given to families who have been hit hard by the pandemic and are living in poverty."

The program is tentatively scheduled to begin in January 2022. The funds will be dispersed through debit cards.  Applications will be processed at Councilman Price's district office, also referred to as the "command center."  And while poverty was mentioned as a requirement for (possible) selection, it should come as no surprise that race will enter the equation as well.  Price made that clear prior to Tuesday's meeting.

“The idea of a guaranteed pilot program is one my office has been following for some time," he said. "It gained momentum as we witnessed our country examine the racial disparities and social injustices during the COVID pandemic." Price added that he hopes this pilot could serve as a model at the state and federal levels.  He no doubt hopes his political career will follow a similar path.

"The 10-day application period opens Friday," CBSLA noted. "The program is open to adults with at least one dependent or is pregnant, is a Los Angeles resident, has an income at or below the federal poverty level, and have experienced a medical or economic hardship due to COVID-19.  Applicants who will be selected at random will be required to provide eligibility documentation to prove they meet these requirements."

With a population of almost four million people — not counting illegals — there are certainly far more than three thousand families that meet the criteria required by the council's new giveaway program.  How the city will deal with these "disenfranchised" citizens was not mentioned.  Another spike in crime is likely.  And since the program is funded, at least in part, by the money recently slashed from the LAPD budget, don't expect too much help from the police.  There just aren't enough cops in the City of Angels to protect its citizens anymore. 

Perhaps the lawlessness can be quelled with teams of specially trained social workers...unarmed, of course.

Image: U.S. Navy via Wikimedia Commons, Public Domain.

Liam Brooks is a pen name.

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